Alumnus nominated for Human Rights Medal

La Trobe Law School alumnus Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM has been nominated for the highly prestigious Human Rights Medal by the Australian Human Rights Commission for its 25th Annual Human Rights Awards.

Kon Karapanagiotidis Mr Karapanagiotidis has been acknowledged for his long-standing community work with asylum seekers. The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony on December 10 at the Hilton in Sydney.

Honouring the inspiring contributions nominees have made to the protection and promotion of human rights, Mr Karapanagiotidis has been shortlisted alongside a group of highly-esteemed candidates. 

Other nominees are Olympic gold-medallist and Director of the Fountain for youth foundation Ian Thorpe, Senior Australian of the Year and founder of the Lighthouse Foundation Susan Barton AM and Professor Stuart Rees, Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation.

Mr Karapanagiotidis OAM is an alumnus of the La Trobe Law School, which is renowned for its commitment to social justice and community engagement. He also holds a Bachelor of Behavioural Science degree from La Trobe.

Motivated by his parents’ struggle as migrants, Mr Karapanagiotidis founded the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) as a small food bank in Footscray in 2001. The ASRC is now the largest provider of aid, advocacy and health services for asylum seekers in Australia – both in the community and in detention. Its 800 volunteers deliver services to some 7000 asylum seekers.

Mr Karapanagiotidis’s work with the ASRC has been acknowledged with multiple awards including an Order of Australia Medal, a La Trobe University Distinguished Alumnus Award and a Churchill Fellowship.

Previous recipients of the Human Rights Medal include Ron Merkel QC in 2011, Thérèse Rein in 2010 and Stephen Keim SC in 2009.


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